April 5, 2012 / 12:11 PM / 5 years ago

Jordan electricity workers strike over pay demands

AMMAN, April 5 (Reuters) - Workers at Jordan's largest electricity generation company began an open-ended strike for wage increases, which has not led so far to cuts in power output, officials and union activists said on Thursday.

Ali al-Hadid, head of the electricity workers' union, told Reuters the protest would continue until the the Central Electricity Generating Company (CEGCO) meets workers' demands for substantial pay hikes and improved working conditons.

The management of CEGCO, whose plants produce nearly half of Jordan's electricity, said it was in discussions with the union representing the strikers, a majority of its 1,200 employees, to resolve the situation.

"We are in discussions, but we have reservations about meeting all the demands," said Abdul Fatah Nsour, CEGC0 chief executive, adding that conceding to the pay demands would cost the company over 4.9 million dinars ($6.9 million), almost half its 2011 profits.

CEGCO, in which Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power International owns a controlling stake, runs seven plants with a capacity of around 1,700 megawatts, supplying around 51 percent of Jordan's current power consumption.

The Jordanian government and a government pension funds own a 50 percent stake in the company, which was privatised several years ago as part of efforts to encourge investors to set up plants to help meet growing demand for power.

$1=0.709 dinars Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi, editing by Jane Baird

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